History

History of the Loudoun Chamber

In the grand scheme of history, it was only 50 short years ago when local business leaders decided this fast-growing, though still mostly agricultural county needed an organized Chamber of Commerce to serve the interests of business. Over these past five decades, the Loudoun Chamber has matured and prospered with the community it serves. In 1968, Loudoun County had about 35,000 residents. Today,that number has grown over 10 times that amount, to nearly 380,000 residents. Fifty years ago, Washington Dulles International Airport had around two million passengers. Last year alone over 45 million passengers travelled through Dulles Airport.

A half century ago, there were many more dairy farms than corporate campuses in Loudoun County. Today, Loudoun has grown to become an economic powerhouse, with the total number of business establishments in the county now at around 12,000, 50% more than the total from just 10 years ago.In 1968, the Loudoun Chamber had less than 200 members. Today, we stand at more than 1,250.

As Loudoun County continued its steady growth, so did the number of local businesses. At the Loudoun Chamber’s 10th Anniversary, our membership count reached 345 members. It was the following year that the German company REHAU settled into its North American headquarters in Leesburg.

 

 

Mid-way through the Chamber’s second decade, Loudoun’s first winery, Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, opened for business. Today, Loudoun County boasts Virginia’s strongest wine industry and has even branded itself “DC’s Wine Country.”

31 years ago, XEROX Realty Corp. broke ground on its 2,267 acres residential and commercial development that came to be known as Lansdowne. From the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, Loudoun earned a string of economic development successes that made the County an international powerhouse in the internet services industry. Names like Worldcom, MCI, AOL and UUNet put Loudoun County in headlines around the world during the dotcom era. Later, IT and telecommunications firms like Telos, Verizon and Orbital Sciences kept Loudoun in the worldwide news.

Meanwhile, Loudoun County and the Town of Leesburg have landed on several prestigious media published lists as among the top communities to start and grow a business. It was in the 1990s that Loudoun County and this Chamber of Commerce experienced the dizzying, exponential growth that has firmly cemented our place in history.

From 1990 to 2000, Loudoun’s population doubled, to nearly 170,000 residents. Over the next seven years it grew by another 100,000 residents, earning Loudoun the distinction of being the fastest growing county in America for several of those years.

With the exploding population and business growth came significant prosperity. In 2007, Loudoun topped that list with an average household income of around $103,000. In 2017, our community still ranks the highest in median per capita income at over $134,000. In that same period, the Loudoun Chamber saw the same exponential rate of growth. In the early part of the last decade, the Chamber had around 400 members. By 1995 the membership rose to 665. 20 years later, the membership almost doubled and today we stand at close to 1,250 members.

The purpose in detailing these historic facts is to provide you a little better appreciation for how the Loudoun County business community and this Chamber have helped this achieve the world-class status it now enjoys.

We now begin the work of writing the next chapter in the Chamber’s history. Our goal should be nothing less than to achieve the high standards of those who came before us to by this great Chamber. We owe it to ourselves and to those who will come after us to sustain and build on the great legacy which we have been privileged to receive.